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What your D&B credit report says about you

Published By Janet Gershen-Siegel at September 20th, 2017

If your business has a DUNS number, then it also has a D&B (Dun & Bradstreet) credit report. If your business is brand new and just got its DUNS number, then expect that, soon, your small business will be the subject of a D&B credit report. This in turn will showcase your business’s PAYDEX score. If you have ever wondered, just what is on a D&B report, then this article is for you.

A Sample Report

As with all of your other business credit scores, you need to keep on top of your PAYDEX score. Dun & Bradstreet helpfully provides a sample report and even some higher level guidance in how to interpret it. It may be easiest to follow along with the report in one tab and this article in another.

Header and Executive Summary

The report starts off with basic identifying information. This includes your company’s name and address, its founding date and the number of employees.  This section includes sales, working capital, and net worth.

This portion also shows your D&B rating, which is a graphical representation of how your business is doing, credit-wise. Furthermore, the section includes your business’s PAYDEX score, and a Predictive Analysis section to show how your company does with financial stress and credit risk as compared to other, similar companies. There is also a graph showing a credit limit recommendation by risk category (high, moderate, or low), and a composite D&B Viability Rating. Plus there is a business summary and a credit capacity summary section.

The Viability Rating puts together basic information about your company profile (that is, if your financial data is available), a data depth indicator (this is a measurement of how good the data is on your company and how complete it is), a portfolio comparison (again, this is a comparison to similar companies), and then a viability score.

Dun & Bradstreet also helpfully provides information on how to read its various scores.

If you read nothing else in your D&B credit score report, read this section.

Business History

This section includes narrative information about your company. This includes the name(s) of its officer(s) and director(s), along with any affiliate information, if that applies. Your business registration section shows where the company is incorporated and its date of incorporation.

Government activity summary

This part is mainly about whether your business could be considered for socioeconomic programs, such as whether it is minority-owned or is considered a small business.

Operations data

This portion shows basic company information like the business you are in, any net payment terms you have with creditors, your number of employees, the type of facilities you have, and where the facilities are (such as if they are  within a business district or the like).

Industry data

This portion defines the SIC and NAICS codes for your small business.

Family tree

Your main branch has a listing here.If your company has subsidiary offices, this is where they are listed, too.

Financial statements

This part sets off several data points for the past three years; these include current assets and liabilities, in an area called the Three Years Comparative Statement. In the Key Business Ratios section, the report compares your company to the industry median and the industry quartile when it comes to particular data points. These include short term solvency and assets sales. The Most recent financial statement part shows detail on your company’s current assets, non-current assets, current liabilities, and non-current liabilities.


The Public filings summary portion summarizes the number of judgments, liens, suits, and UCC filings your company has. The Public filings part shows a bar chart based on the previous portion.

Full filings

Here are the details on any judgments, liens, or UCC filings against your company.

Commercial credit score

In the Summary part, the report shows a graph from high to average to low for your company’s credit risk. The Incidence of delinquent payment section compares your company’s delinquent payment history to similar companies. The Credit score percentile norms comparison part graphs your company’s credit score as opposed to similar companies.

Financial stress score

The Summary graph shows your company’s financial stress class from high to average, to low.

The Financial stress score percentilesection shows the probability of failure of your business.

The Financial stress percentile comparison part graphs your company’s financial stress percentile versus similar companies.

Advanced PAYDEX + CLR

There are two graphs in the D&B PAYDEXportion:

  • Up to 3 month D&B PAYDEX – Payment dates divide into greater than 120 days slow; 30 days slow; prompt; and anticipated.
  • Up to 24 month D&B PAYDEX – this graph shows the same scale.

The Credit limit recommendationgraph divides your business’s risk category into high, moderate, or low. The PAYDEX yearly trendline graph shows your company’s PAYDEX scores compared to the primary industry for the last four quarters. In the Payment habits portion, the report shows your small business’s percentage of payment within terms divided by various dollar ranges. The Payment summarysection provides some detail on any payment experiences D&B has on file for your business. This shows how quickly your company paid off its debts, how much credit was extended, and other pertinent information. The Detailed payment history portion expands upon the previous one by adding report dates, paying records, selling terms, and the like.

Get your own D&B PAYDEX report

The best way to get a handle on your company’s overall financial health is to look at your own PAYDEX report. You can get your PAYDEX report here and, if you need to, you can contact their Customer Service department (it’s a part of Dun & Bradstreet, as they also generate PAYDEX reports) here. D&B’s PAYDEX Customer Service phone number is here.

Stay on top of your D&B report and your business credit will improve.

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